ROME (Reuters) - Italian police and soccer authorities on Monday opened investigations after Lazio fans posted anti-Semitic stickers of Holocaust victim Anne Frank wearing the jersey of their top-flight city rivals AS Roma.
The stickers and anti-Semitic slurs were found on glass barriers, walls and bathrooms in a section of Rome’s Olympic Stadium that was used by Lazio supporters on Sunday in their Serie A match against Cagliari.
“This is not soccer, this is not sport. Anti-Semites out of the stadiums,” Ruth Dureghello, the head of Rome’s Jewish community, said in a Tweet in which she posted a picture of the stickers.
The hard-core and often violent Lazio fans, known as “ultras,” left the stickers and anti-Semitic slogans such as “Roma fans are Jews” in a section of the stadium where Roma supporters usually sit when their team is playing.
Local rivals Lazio and Roma share the stadium.
Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Lazio region, of which Rome is the capital, was leading a group of historians at the Nazi death camp of Treblinka in Poland when he heard of the incident. He said it had provoked “added indignation”.
Anne Frank was born in Germany but her family fled to the Netherlands to escape the Nazis. They lived in hidden rooms in Amsterdam before they were discovered by German occupiers and deported to concentration camps.
She died in the Bergen-Belsen camp aged 15 and her diary recounting the family’s time in hiding became a centerpiece of Holocaust literature.
Nicola Fratoianni, the head of the small Italian Left party, said those guilty of the anti-Semitism at the stadium should be made to memorize Anne Frank’s diary.
Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Ken Ferris